Amor, Amoris. N. 3rd. M.
love; affection; the beloved; Cupid; affair; sexual / illicit / homosexual passion

Catullus II

Passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quicum ludere, quem in sinu tenere,
cui primum digitum dare appetenti
et acris solet incitare morsus,
cum desiderio meo nitenti
carum nescio quid lubet iocari,
et solaciolum sui doloris,
credo, ut tum gravis acquiescat ardor:
tecum ludere sicut ipsa possem
et tristis animi levare curas!

tam gratum est mihi quam ferunt puellae,
pernici aureolum fuisse malum,
quod zonam soluit diu ligatam.

Catullus II

sparrow, lover's joy
she plays with you

who hops in her lap
she offers her fingertip
to your sharp beak-bites
flushing, she whispers
secret blandishments
you cool her passion
relieve her desire
I want to hold you like that
put out my own flames
it thrills me like the apples
thrilled the swiftest girl
and loosened the belt
too tightly tied


Catullus III

Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
et quantum est hominum venustiorum:
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat.
nam mellitus erat suamque norat
ipsam tam bene quam puella matrem,
nec sese a gremio illius movebat,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
ad solam dominam usque pipiabat.
qui nunc it per iter tenebricosum
illuc, unde negant redire quemquam.
at uobis male sit, malae tenebrae
Orci, quae omnia bella devoratis:
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis
o factum male! o miselle passer!
tua nunc opera meae puellae
flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.

Catullus III

Mourn, Venuses, Cupids,
Noblemen of Rome
My lover’s sparrow is dead—
He was her ecstasy: she loved him
More than she loved her own eyes.
Sweet as honey, he knew her
As well as a mother knows her child
He never left her lap but hopped
Around, chirping for his mistress alone.
Now he flies along that dark path
From which none of us return.
Evil deed! Poor little bird!
I curse you, Orcus-shades
Who devour everything we love
You took from us this lovely sparrow.
Because of you, my lover’s eyes
Are red and swollen with weeping.


Catullus V

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus invidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

Catullus V

Let’s do it, Lesbia, let’s get into it.
Old men will gossip: fuck ‘em!
Their verdict isn’t worth a penny.
What do the faithful teach us?

When the sun sets, it comes up again—
When our short day ends, it’s kaput.
Give me a thousand kisses, a hundred thousand

Then (to be technical) another thousand, another hundred—
More thousands, more hundreds
When we’ve made so many millions
We can’t count them all
We’ll hide in a blanket of kisses.

Those assholes won’t be able to find us
Under our blanket of kisses.


Catullus VII

Quaeris, quot mihi basiationes
tuae, Lesbia, sint satis superque.
quam magnus numerus Libyssae harenae
lasarpiciferis iacet Cyrenis
oraclum Iovis inter aestuosi
et Batti veteris sacrum sepulcrum;
aut quam sidera multa, cum tacet nox,
furtivos hominum vident amores:
tam te basia multa basiare
uesano satis et super Catullo est,
quae nec pernumerare curiosi
possint nec mala fascinare lingua.

Catullus VII

Lesbia, you ask how many kisses are enough—
Are too many—for old Catullus? I’ll tell you.
As many as there are grains of sand in Libya
That lie in Cyrene, rich with silphium,
Between the hot temple of Jupiter
And the sacred tomb of ancient Battus…

Or as many stars as watch men’s secret trysts
In the middle of the silent night
That number of kisses is enough—

Is more than enough—for fevered Catullus.

The curious can’t count that infinity of kisses
Nor can an evil tongue curse so many.


Catullus CVII

Si quicquam cupido optantique optigit umquam
     insperanti, hoc est gratum animo proprie.
quare hoc est gratum nobis quoque carius auro
     quod te restituis, Lesbia, mi cupido.
restituis cupido atque insperanti, ipsa refers te
     nobis. o lucem candidiore nota!
quis me uno vivit felicior aut magis hac est
     optandus vita dicere quis poterit?

Catullus CVII

How miraculous, when the soul that burns with love, but has no hope
     Suddenly gets what it desires.
How miraculous, then, Lesbia—how much richer than gold—
     That you’ve returned to your burning lover.
You’ve returned to your lover who burned, but had no hope
     You’ve returned yourself to me.
How lucky am I? The brightest day burns brighter still—
     What burning lover is happier than me?
What fortune is greater than the one in my arms?